We are delighted to welcome back Ballet Ireland to The Civic again this December for their annual Christmas production. We chatted to the ballet dancers Arianna Marchiori and Philip Tunstall who are both performing in The Nutcracker at The Civic, which is now SOLD OUT!
What was your first job out of college, and how did you land it?
Arianna: I’m still twenty years old and I left home when I was sixteen for the States so I’m actually finish my last year of high school but my first professional job was in Germany. Fortunately I already knew people there so it was less scary and I felt comfortable.
Philip: My first job out of college was with Serbian National Ballet. I had to fly out to Serbia to audition; I remember they had a big panel of people watching, it was all pretty daunting!
How old were you when you took your first ballet class? Who introduced you to it? Did you immediately feel passionate about it?
Arianna: I actually started pretty late, I was eleven. Both of my parents introduced me to it, they were trying to help me find some sport to do after school. At the begging I wasn’t so up for it but after a year I loved it and I decided to go to a more professional school.
Philip: I think I was age 5, I started with ballroom dancing, but that didn’t last for long. I followed my best friend along to a ballet class, and haven’t stopped since!
At what age did you realise ballet was what you wanted to do with your life? Was it a slow progression or can you recall a particular moment?
Arianna: I was thirteen when I made up my mind and I was one hundred percent sure I want to be a professional dancer. It was a slow progression. I think when I started to do a lot of shows, competitions and start travelling a bit, I realised how much I was enjoying it and what a great feeling I was having every time I was dancing.
Philip: For me, it was more of a slow progression, the more I’ve trained and performed, the more I’ve enjoy it. When I was 16, I made the decision to move away from home and continue training at a vocational school, which was such a difficult decision to make at the time. Despite this I’m so glad I did and feel incredibly lucky to be where I am today with my career. I try, as best as I can, to take things one step at a time and enjoy the opportunities as they present themselves.
What qualities do you think are required to be in this industry?
Arianna: First at all I would say passion and then definitely you have to be really smart. It’s all about a clever work. You can have the most incredible gifts like crazy feet, amazing legs etc but if you don’t use your head while you are dancing it’s all pointless. Determination is also really important. Somedays you can be tired, you don’t want to do anything beside be in bed but determination is what is going to make up get up and go to work and get better every single day.
Philip: Perseverance, determination and sheer hard work. I don’t think any dancers will have made it to a professional level without hundreds, probably thousands of hours in the studio. The ability to persevere is so crucial, and something you learn very quickly, be it repeating a particularly difficult movement, or going after a particular part or company that you would like to work for. I would say also say be kind and have a willingness to help others, the idea ballet dancers are just out for themselves is such an outdated stereotype and just not true. Oh and never burn your bridges, it may come back to haunt you!
Where do you see yourself five years from now? Any major goals you’re still working towards in your career?
Arianna: I have so many places and companies I would like to try for. So honestly I don’t have a specific answer for this question. You never know what it can happen but definitely I would love to explore China, Japan, go to New Zealand and Australia.
Philip: Such a difficult question! Hopefully I’ll still be dancing. I absolutely love to travel, so maybe performing around the world, seeing inspiring places and exciting new audiences. Maybe I’ll be back here in Ireland; only time will tell!
What can audiences expect from the upcoming Ballet Ireland production of ‘The Nutcracker’?
Arianna: They should expecting a magic moment between the happy and surprise atmosphere in the first act and the joyful and excitement moments in the second act. I would say the perfect Christmas experience.
Philip: A magical, festive and fun-filled adventure. Follow Clara from her cosy Christmas-filled home, into the dream land of the Sugar Plum fairy.
And finally, what was the last TV show you binge-watched? How many episodes did you see in a sitting?
Arianna: I just finish the first season of twelve episodes of The Crown, a really good TV show. I definitely recommend it. Now I’m waiting for the second season to come out.
Philip: Hands down, Game of Thrones. When I first started I probably watched the first 3 seasons in a matter of days! It’s such nail biting stuff!
The Nutcracker, Thursday 1st – Saturday 3rd December , Civic Theatre Tallaght.
Call 01 4627477 to be added to our waiting list